CCDF offers cash incentives to child care providers

Posted on Jan 31 2020


The Child Care Development and Funding program of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs is now on its third fiscal year of rating licensed child care providers in the CNMI in terms of the quality of their services.

What started as a pilot program back in July 2016, is now progressing into what CCDF administrator Maribel Loste envisioned for the program, which is that the child care providers under the CCDF and CCLP meet the basic quality requirements that allow them to operate.

“We have a set of standards that we tested out,” she said. “We work with our providers, letting them know that these are our standards that we’re looking at…”

The child care rating system, called the Quality Rating and Improvement System, is also called “Reaching for the Stars” because the companies that provide child care services are ranked according to a star-rating system, similar to the hotel system of three-stars, two-stars, etc.

It doesn’t stop at the ratings. The staff undergoes training, coaching, and then full observation by a third party that’s been trained on all of the assessment tools. Once a facility is rated, the providers will get their “stars” and then go through monthly check-ins to assure that the facility is maintaining a clean and safe environment.

The good thing about this, Loste said, is the higher a provider gets rated, the higher the incentives the staff get and the facility is motivated to try to obtain a higher rating the next time around.

For example, if a provider is rated as a two-star facility, CCDF will then award bonuses to the child care provider and their staff, plus $2,000 for the child care provider to buy materials.

“The CCDF program are not here to tell a parent(s) what childcare facility their child should be in, but to provide the parent(s) choices and to give an understanding of what quality is,” Loste said.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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